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July 18, 2006

For DC Readers

This is interesting. How Adams Morgan got its name:

The neighborhood was given its name during D.C.'s school desegregation in the 1950s, when the all-white John Quincy Adams School and the all-black Thomas P. Morgan School were both integrated. Adams School still exists on 19th Street just north of the Washington Hilton, but Morgan School, which was located at the corner of California and 18th Streets where the Marie Reed tennis courts and ball fields are, was demolished around 1971.

And from that glorious moment of integration came a relatively ritzy neighborhood for aging professionals with pretensions to hipness and a glittering block where 20- and 30-somethings can get absolutely tanked on overpriced cosmos while scoping out sexual partners.

July 18, 2006 | Permalink


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The plan all along. In fact, Tom Toms is at an exact 90-degree northward point from where Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Posted by: Aug | Jul 18, 2006 6:06:41 PM

I think you are leaving out the interim part where Adams-Morgan was decaying and crime-ridden. But since you are new to DC, we will let it slide.

Posted by: kathleen | Jul 18, 2006 6:16:19 PM

Hey, wait a minute you young whippersnapper. Some of us aging professionals with pretensions to hipness invented hipness, by golly by gee.

Posted by: Paul | Jul 18, 2006 7:42:50 PM

"aging professionals with pretensions to hipness"

That describes us exactly - and we just bought a renovated loft apartment in Adams Morgan.

Posted by: Mar | Jul 18, 2006 8:42:42 PM

you totally forgot the "big pizza". the big pizza goes a long way in remedying the problems you list.

it's the best food i've ever eaten, particularly at the given times i find myself eating it

Posted by: publius | Jul 18, 2006 11:30:27 PM

Adams Morgan is a predominantly Hispanic- mostly Salvadoran- neighborhood of families living in small apartment buildings on side streets. There are also large numbers of West Africans. Although there are plenty of boomers and yuppies in the nice condos along Columbia Road most of it is not a ritzy neighborhood- not by a long shot.

Posted by: JR | Jul 18, 2006 11:45:36 PM

... all of which is a reminder why Washington is, ultimately, sort of small and sad.

Posted by: weboy | Jul 19, 2006 8:29:52 AM

Is the phrase 'overpriced cosmos' redundant?

Posted by: mickslam | Jul 19, 2006 9:15:57 AM

> most of it is not a ritzy neighborhood- not by a long shot.

Have you been there lately? It is changing very fast.

Posted by: Mar | Jul 19, 2006 9:30:07 AM

Yeah man -- Mt. Pleasant, where I live, that's a mostly Salvadoran neighborhood.

Posted by: Ezra | Jul 19, 2006 10:05:46 AM

I no longer live in the B'more/DC area, but I really liked hanging out in Adams Morgan. Yes, lots of pretentious people go there, but I used to love Tom Tom, The Loft and Heaven and Hell.

But as a person born and raised in Chicago, I used to find it so funny how residents there really thought that it was the "big city" and how they were so cosmopolitan and "advanced". Pretentious doesn't even begin to describe it. But I loved the multi-ethnic flavor. Oh, and Madames Organ!!

Posted by: Aaron | Jul 19, 2006 10:09:43 AM

Wow - you *are* young and new to the area, aren't you?

Posted by: Andy | Jul 19, 2006 11:13:02 AM

Ah, yes. Adams Morgan. Where (at least on the 18th Street corridor of bars) every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, thousands of straight hipster twenty- and thirty-somethings (mostly from Virginia and Maryland) converge to party, fight, hook up, vomit, lose their underpants, and throw half-eaten pizza slices, plates, and stolen bar glasses all over the place. I've lived here for a decade, and despite all of the above, I'm happy that scene is there and that they still come every week without fail.

I do wish they could figure out how to use a trash can, though.

Posted by: Deedle | Jul 19, 2006 12:15:56 PM

Yes, Ezra, you are indeed a newbie. Not terribly long ago, the 18th St. strip consisted mostly of ethnic restaurants (ranging from decent to excellnt) and small shops, with only a smattering of bars. It also hosted a few cafes, one of which being a ramshackle little gem called "Cafe Riche" -- which was run by a nutty Algerian poet who would serve you if he took an instictive like to you and ignore you if he didn't. (If you didn't make the grade, you might spend the better part of the evening convincing him to part with a cup of coffee, but on a good night you could enjoy free wine along with all-night dancing to Algerian pop blasting out of the tinny little speaker on an ancient boombox.)
It was also a multehtnic and relatively affordable, although, as noted above, crime-addled, neighborhood.
Those days are most definitely over (except for the crime, which is still here, albeit in a slightly different guise). The strip is now a vomitorium for droves of oafish youths from the Virginia and Maryland burbs, dominated by shitty bars. Insaneluy priced and cheaply built condos have lined 18th St. and the streets behind it to the east (in many cases, replacing low-income housing). Idiots who bought luxury condos sight unseen are now aghast that their bedroom windows look out onto the Tom Tom Club and the like, and they are complaining about the noise (there is at least some small measure of justice). The strip has also become a hub for random-beating-type crime, which has proved deadly in a number of instances (including one in which a serviceman was suckerpunched while aiting in line for one of those execrable "giant slices" and suffered a fatal head injury upon falling).
All of this has been exacerbated by the fact that the developers who put up the condos greatly added to the parking capacity of the area, which has made it even more of a magnet for the boorish goons of NoVa and SoMa. Yich. Publius, enjoy that giant slice.

Posted by: Sebastian Dangerfield | Jul 19, 2006 5:42:23 PM

More or less nothing seems important. It's not important. Shrug. Whatever. I've just been hanging out doing nothing, but eh. I can't be bothered with anything lately.

Posted by: tulsa boat sport and travel show | Aug 9, 2007 9:12:40 PM

I haven't been up to much , but I guess it doesn't bother me. Pfft. I just don't have much to say lately, but maybe tomorrow. Basically nothing seems worth doing.

Posted by: beer guinness neon sign | Aug 11, 2007 3:17:03 AM

I haven't gotten anything done. Whatever. I just don't have anything to say.

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An integrated, segregated society is better

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Sex offenders should be, should not be castrated

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Help the homeless down the street and persuade them to look for work

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An integrated, segregated society is better

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Life is designed by some sort of intelligence, God created life

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